Senior living communities, at their core, are an opportunity for independence. For seniors who may require extra support amid their regular day-to-day activities, on-site staff can alleviate potential stressors of preparing food, cleaning the apartment or managing medical needs—all within a vibrant, social community environment.

If you know a loved one who may benefit from this experience but aren’t sure if now is the right time to find senior living options, ask yourself the following ten questions:

1. Is the individual eating regular, healthy meals?

Maintaining a healthy diet is important, regardless of your age. For seniors, balanced meals should include nutrient-dense ingredients like lean meats, vegetables and whole grains. If one cannot prepare these options at home and meal delivery services aren’t an option, a senior community can help. Their professional staff will prepare nutritious, culinary-level meals to meet individual dietary needs.

Most residents find senior living a treat, taking the toll of shopping and cooking off their list, they can “go out to eat” as often as they’d like! 

2. Are they able to keep up with personal hygiene practices?

Showering, bathing, styling our hair or shaving don’t just contribute to our personal health: they help us feel confident. Without support to complete these small tasks, it’s easy to not feel like one’s best self.

Communities like Vineyard not only offer assistance but also weekly services like manicures and pedicures. 

3. Do they require assistance to perform daily chores?

Household chores, like mopping or doing the dishes, can take up the better part of one’s day. This process can also require arduous physical labor, which may not be possible based on one’s physical condition. Many senior communities provide regular cleaning services—a process that’s especially important during and after a viral pandemic.

4. Can the individual participate in regular hobbies and activities?

Based on location, physical ability or accessibility, it may be more difficult for seniors to participate in activities they once loved. Senior living communities bring those experiences to their doorstep and create tailored programming that provides a safe, fun opportunity to socialize with other residents.

5. Do they have a support network of in-person, regular contact?

In-person communication, while limited during the Covid-19 pandemic, is still essential. While it serves as an emotional support tool, it also helps identify potential health concerns or specific needs of an individual. Regular check-ins from staff are one of the best ways to ensure your loved ones receive the support they need.

6. Can the individual operate and regulate household appliances?

Whether it’s a coffee maker, the stovetop or oven, household appliances can often present a potential risk of injury. If one needs extra support to operate these items, on-site staff will be vital in helping them overcome potential challenges. (Additionally, with on-site dining options, your loved one won’t need many of those cumbersome appliances!) 

7. Do they need support managing bills, paperwork or other finance-related efforts?

Whether it be organizing monthly living fees or managing retirement expenses, senior communities often offer extra support to those who’d like to take a break from the numbers. At Vineyard, we combine all bills into one easy monthly payment, eliminating several expenses and the need for multiple accounts, ultimately simplifying our residents’ lives.  

Of course, family members can still stay in consistent contact with their loved ones to help navigate overall finances.

8. Can this person remain active without potential injury?

Senior living communities are also an excellent way to help mitigate risk; whether it be a potential threat of injury or fall, the staff and experts can help residents remain both active and safe, according to their individual situation.

9. Is the individual able to maintain their regular medication needs?

Keeping track of vitamin supplements and medication needs can be tricky, and making sure that they’re taken in the right dosage and time frame may become difficult for some seniors. To manage and properly follow doctors’ recommendations, it’s often valuable to get additional staff support.

10. Is there an easily-accessible emergency response plan in place?

While senior living communities offer independence, daily staff support and a new, easier way of life, they also provide peace of mind. In case of emergencies, you can have confidence that your loved one will have immediate assistance to address the incident. 

For those struggling with how to find senior living communities, focus on locations that provide happiness to both you and your loved one—look at it as your next, exciting step.